B.C. candidates promise crackdown on wealthy who hide foreign assets

The Vancouver Sun Wed Sep 30 2015 By: Douglas Todd

New Democratic Party candidate Jenny Kwan is clarifying comments she made five years ago about immigrants and reporting foreign assets, in the book Millionaire Migrants, written by UBC geographer David Ley.

In the book, she said Liberal legislation in the late 1990s that would demand immigrants be more open about their foreign assets went against Chinese cultural values of privacy. Now, she said she strongly objects to tax evasion.

Nobel laureate warns of Trans-Pacific Partnership dangers

The Vancouver Sun Fri Sep 25 2015 By: Chuck Chiang

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is warning of the dangers associated with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. The TPP, which involves 12 nations, is in the midst of negotiations.

Stiglitz visited UBC near the end of September as part of the Lind Initiative in U.S. Studies, a new program that brings prominent American scholars to the university to conduct research and share ideas with students, faculty and the wider community.

Nazi photo turns into hard lesson for Ottawa student

Ottawa Sun Thu Oct 1 2015 By: Julienne Bay

An Algonquin College student training to become a police officer is mortified after a photo of him posing as a Nazi was sent to local media. The student, who posted the photo on social media and then deleted it two weeks later, said it was meant as a joke. He is worried the photo will affect his future career.

“Once you put something out there in social media, it’s very difficult to erase,” said Eric M. Meyers, a library, archival and information studies professor. “It’s unfortunate this young man is learning the hard way… but other young people can learn from this example.”

Economists eye election plans as Canada’s economy falters

Business in Vancouver Tue Sept 29 2015 By: Jen St. Denis

Four B.C. economists including UBC’s Kevin Milligan and Werner Antweiler assessed the parties’ economic plans.

UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan said it’s not just the resource sector that’s suffering; manufacturing is also down.

Werner Antweiler, a professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, said the Bank of Canada can no longer shore up the economy with cheap money, not after two rate cuts this year.

Is there too much focus on petty scandals in the election?

CBC News Sun Sept 27 2015

This election’s slew of social media scandals has had little effect on candidates’ fortunes, but that’s partly because the candidates affected don’t have much chance of winning anyway, UBC political scientist David Moscrop told CBC’s Cross-Country Checkup.

Moscrop added that the media, the parties and political institutions have a responsibility to elevate political discussion.

Segment starts at 1:05:00 mark.

UBC Symphony Orchestra starts off with a bang

The Vancouver Sun Wed Sept 30 2015 By: David Gordon Duke

On Oct. 8, a series of music-related events begins at UBC, which is celebrating 100 years of research and teaching. The UBC Symphony Orchestra, directed by conductor Jonathan Girard, will give a performance at the Chan Centre.

The event includes the world premiere of Soundscape for a Century Past by UBC alum Jared Miller.

The Chinese Communist Party and legitimacy

The Diplomat Wed Sept 30 2015 By: Lotus Yang Ruan

Lotus Yang Ruan, an MA candidate in Asia Pacific Policy Studies at UBC, assesses the public mention of the Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy issue by a party official in early September.

“While it may be a first for a CCP’s high-ranking official to publicly discuss the legitimacy issue, there is no reason to become excited about any hidden meanings behind Wang’s move,” Ruan wrote in an op-ed.

How the party leaders could cool the housing market

Canadian Business Wed Sept 30 2015 By: Michael McCullough

The solution to affordability crisis in Canada’s largest housing markets is “political poison” and would meet strong resistance from Canadian homeowners, according to a new article in Canadian Business.

The article mentions UBC geographer David Ley, whose research showed that purchases by wealthy immigrants and foreign real estate investors affected prices across the housing spectrum; and Thomas Davidoff, an economist at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, who recommends shifting the tax burden from personal income to real estate to fix the power gap between homeowners and non-homeowners.

Xi’s UN speech full of vision, says Canadian expert

The Vancouver Sun Wed Sept 30 2015 By: Jiang Yaping, Kuang Cong

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the UN General Assembly had a lot of new ideas and vision for international relations, says Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC. He praised Xi’s intergovernmental focus and understanding of shared global challenges.

“Xi is taking a very long-term vision, reminding countries that we can’t just focus on short term and self interest, that the interests of each nation depend on the interests of the whole,” Tiberghien said.

The politics of fear

The Vancouver Sun Tue Sept 29 2015 By: Pete McMartin

The Conservatives have been accused of fear-mongering in the election campaign–a practice that UBC political scientist Chris Erickson says is “as old as history.”

“I think the public response to this — which, from what I’ve been reading, is one of outrage — is an appropriate response,” Erickson said. “People are not stupid. And for whatever reason, (voters) are being treated as if they were at the level of children. If we are aware of it, it can have a lot less effect on us.”

Academics denounce retroactive long gun legislation

Washington Post Wed Sept 30 2015 By: Aritz Parra

A number of academics, including a few from UBC, signed an open letter to Stephen Harper to express concern about the retroactive amendments to the Elimination of the Long Gun Registry Act (ELRA). The letter went, in part: “A government should not decriminalize its own actions if they were illegal at the time they were committed. This requirement precludes laws that are retroactive as they would re-write history. The insertion of clauses to effect retroactive changes to the ELRA is a dangerous precedent which will have far-reaching and disturbing consequences.”

China micromanages Tibet, floods it with money to woo locals

Washington Post Wed Sept 30 2015 By: Aritz Parra

UBC Tibet researcher Tsering Shakya is quoted in a Washington Post article on China’s new strategy in Tibet.

“The strategy for Tibet is now shifting from the overall kind of repression that we have seen in the past to actually moving toward luring sections of the community and trying to work with those who cooperate with the authorities,” Shakya said, while admitting that China’s intervention is helping reduce some of the disparity between the development in Tibet and in China.

Similar articles appeared on Fox News, ABC News, Yahoo, Huffington Post,, US News & World Report and other publications.

Use of social media in China a complex issue

Vancouver Sun Tue Sept 29 2015 By: Chuck Chiang

Three UBC academics took part in a public discussion in Vancouver about social media use in China.

Lotus Ruan, a graduate student at UBC, said that while there is censorship of social media in China, Chinese Internet users have developed ways to get around it.

Chinese people have a history of using social media in innovative ways, partly to contest authority but also to work with it, according to UBC Institute of Asian Research professor Paul Evans.

Niqab debate underscores dearth of female candidates

Ottawa Citizen Mon Sept 28 2015 By: Nancy Peckford, Grace Lore

Nancy Peckford, national spokesperson for Equal Voice, and Grace Lore, a UBC political scientist and Equal Voice researcher wrote about Muslim women’s lack of a formal political voice in Canada.

“The furor and anxiety [the ban on niqab, a scarf worn by some Muslim women] has created appear to be partly fueled by the fact that very few Muslim woman in Canada have a formal political voice,” they wrote. “While there is no doubt that the debate about the niqab is nowhere near settled within the Muslim community, the conversation would be significantly enriched by the voices of more Muslim women who are part of a very heterogeneous and evolving faith.”

Universal childcare could have a negative effect on their children

National Post Mon Sept 28 2015 By: Molly Bangs

National Post columnist Stephen Gordon says the universal childcare model needs to be reexamined, citing the results of a recent study by UBC economist Kevin Milligan with colleagues from the University of Toronto and MIT.